David on Stargate SG-1

It was only a matter of time before someone would adapt the hit movie Stargate for television. And I'll be the first to agree it was a promising move: the premise was perfect for an episodic series. Sadly, the success or failure of a show can hinge on a single element, which in this case is admittedly a personal thing: Richard Dean Anderson is So. Bloody. Annoying.

Anderson may be a decent actor. But the character he created for the series (which he's said is a lot like himself—oh, dear) got on my nerves almost instantly, which made an otherwise watchable show nearly unwatchable. I forced myself to suffer through all eleven seasons merely for the sake of watching the scenes without him. When the behind-the-scenes drama started seeping through to the screen around season nine, I felt a mix of relief and disappointment: the über-annoying Jack O'Neill was mercifully absent, but the show's overall quality, such as it was, took a nosedive. The only thing that kept it afloat at that point was the addition of Farscape's two leads, who brought with them a light, playful sense of humor, as opposed to Anderson's gratingly cynical so-called sense of humor.

Stargate's popularity and longevity are perplexing. Performances (Anderson notwithstanding) and production value were about average, if slightly above average on rare occasion. But except for the multi-syllabic dialog, it almost came off as a kid's show. The writers seemed to revel in goofy what-if scenarios, creating a melting pot of mythology in order to justify a free-for-all costume party. Although we were spared the lumpy-forehead alien of the week, glowing eyeballs and digitally distorted voices were the go-to effects, which quickly became tiresome. And to think this nonsense spawned three spin-off series...


The show had the potential to be 1/2-DECENT were it not for Richard Dean Anderson.

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